At least Moto has been able to get a reasonable sized screen into the front fascia to compensate for the carrying bulk. It measures 2.4 inches across diagonal corners and displays 262 thousand colours. Its 240 x 320 pixels is par for the course but the net result is sharp and bright enough.
Where the ROKR E8’s entire touchpad was a completely changing touch-sensitive display with haptic feedback – to the point where the number pad disappeared at times, the ZN5’s is a bit more restrained and only offers special keys when you are in camera mode. The number pad itself is always present, with numbers backlit brilliant white. However there is a quirk. Well, this wouldn’t be a Moto handset without one, would it?
There are tiny raised pimples marking out every button. The whole button pad is flat apart from the raised D-pad, and the pimples help you find what you are aiming at with a fingertip when that fingertip is unhelpfully covering up a sizeable area of the fascia. But the pimples aren’t backlit and visually they clutter things up. Ergonomic? Yes. Visually attractive? No.
Of course this phone plays music and it does so quite well. I’m a big fan of the fact that Moto has managed to put a 3.5mm headset slot on the casing, though its location on the top left edge is a bit awkward when it comes to pocketing the phone. I prefer the top edge every time. But on the other hand Moto supplies an AV cable which uses this connector to send screen contents to your TV which is potentially quite a plus point.
Battery life for music playback is above average. I got six hours 17 minutes from a full battery charge. It fared better during real life testing. I got through two days at a time between charges, though had to go easy on the Wi-Fi to meet that target.
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